Whew - I had a close call this week. For the last few weeks I've been hunting down fabric with which to make our wedding 'guest book' quilt. (The idea is to make large 'rail fence' blocks, have the guests sign them at the wedding, and then piece it all together in to a quilt.)
Last Thursday, I selected fabric I thought might work. Not being entirely convinced that I would like it worked up in to the square, I just bought half a yard of each for some test squares. It worked out really well, but when I went back on Friday I couldn't find the fabric anymore. I thought maybe it just hadn't made it back to the shelf yet, but on Saturday it was still missing. I finally managed to find the fabric again, a day and four stores later. So, I was ready to start making blocks.
I have always been a faithful pre-washer of my sewing fabric. But, several times recently I have heard the ladies in our local quilting store tell customers that they never bother to pre-wash. Fabrics are different these days, they don't shrink or bleed, etc. etc. I had pretty much decided I was going to stop pre-washing. Not that washing is an issue for me, but it just has so many more wrinkles after washing and the ironing is a pain. I'm not in to the Zen of Ironing.
Luckily, the fabric did have to be ironed since it was wrinkled on the bolt. I was ironing with steam, because this is a pretty heavy batiked cotton. About a yard and a half in to the ironing I realize my hands are blue. Either I'm turning in to a Smurf (do Smurf's even exist anymore?) or my fabric is bleeding. I'm betting the fabric is bleeding. I abandon the ironing and head straight for the washing machine. Whew, that was close. Can you imagine if I had discovered that after it was completed?
Never again will I try to skip pre-washing. This is what they will look like when I finally get to make them, though.